Business Intelligence : Responsibilities, Skills, and Career Paths

The profession of business intelligence, or BI, involves the crucial task of leveraging data to generate valuable business insights for the employing company or client. 

Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence

However, its role extends beyond mere data literacy and business acumen.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of this role, we will delve into its job description, required skills and qualifications, and potential career paths in the following explanation provided by Glints.

What is Business Intelligence?

This role is tailored for individuals seeking ways and methodologies to analyze business information, as reported by Educba. 

It differs from Robert Half's perspective, which emphasizes that the insights derived from analyzing business data will serve as a guide for collaborating with other staff.

Similar to other positions, this role holds significant importance within a company. This is because individuals in this role are responsible for shaping the company's direction and business strategy. 

A misguided strategy can disrupt the company's established business plans. Hence, business intelligence is often referred to as a business tactician.

However, it differs from business analytics. While business analytics focuses solely on analysis, individuals in this role are expected to interpret and communicate the analysis results.

Business Intelligence Jobs and Responsibilities

Business intelligence professionals have a range of responsibilities and duties, including:

1. Data Analysis: 

Collaborating with a team of engineers to conduct business data analysis, and establishing policies and procedures for data utilization.

2. Business Intelligence Observation and Evaluation: 

Evaluating and comprehensively understanding business data, and translating it into insights or recommendations for business development.

3. Intellectual Business Data Analysis Development: 

Assessing and improving the company's business data analysis process.

4. Data Processing: 

Collecting and storing business data in a secure and easily accessible location known only to the company's personnel.

Business Intelligence Skills and Qualifications

The qualifications for a business intelligence professional typically include the following, as reported by Discover Data Science:

Pursuing a degree in information systems, computer science, data science, business administration, engineering, economics, or other relevant majors to gain knowledge about business processes and data processing.
Having work experience, preferably through internships, in a related field.
Obtaining a certification in business intelligence is highly recommended to enhance credibility. Recommended certifications include Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate and TDWI Certified Business Intelligence Professional.

Meanwhile, the essential skills for a business intelligence professional are as follows:

1. Data Mining: 

Data mining involves sifting through large datasets to identify underlying patterns. 

These patterns are then further explored in the context of business processes. 

Data mining encompasses techniques related to machine learning, statistics, and database systems, requiring a comprehensive skill set to effectively carry out the data mining process.

2. Data Analysis: 

Proficiency in data analysis is essential for business intelligence professionals. 

Once the data has been processed through the data mining process, it undergoes further analysis. 

The insights gained from this analysis play a crucial role in guiding the company's future decision-making processes.

3. Data Visualization: 

Effective data visualization is crucial for ensuring that the presented data sets are easily understandable for the general audience. 

Therefore, mastering data visualization skills is essential to communicate the results of data analysis to relevant stakeholders in a clear and accessible manner.

4. Programming Languages: 

Proficiency in programming languages is another essential hard skill required for flexibility in data collection and analysis. 

The necessary programming language skills should also be adaptable. 

According to Finances Online, some of the most widely used programming languages include Java, Python, JavaScript, C++, PHP, Perl, and SQL, which is commonly used in business intelligence tools.

5. Communication: 

Effective communication skills are crucial for a business intelligence professional to convey insights gained from data processing.

 Additionally, collaboration with other divisions is essential for obtaining necessary data. 

Ineffective communication may impede the process going forward due to potential miscommunication.

6. Critical Thinking: 

Critical thinking is another essential soft skill required for business intelligence professionals. 

Without this ability, the insights derived from data may lack depth and usefulness for the company's operations, regardless of the completeness of the obtained data. 

The essence of the intelligence process is problem-solving, making critical thinking crucial for companies to make logical and optimal decisions from the available alternatives.

Business Intelligence Tools that Need to be Mastered

business intelligence tools
business intelligence tools

To excel in business intelligence, there are several essential skills to master. 

In addition to proficient data analysis, there are specific software tools that one should be adept at using. According to CIO, here is a list of software that one must be fluent in using.

1. Tableau:

This software facilitates data visualization and integrates with data sources such as Excel or SQL Data Warehouse.

2. Splunk:

This platform aids in business data analysis, presenting analytical data and supporting qualified analysis for business intelligence.

3. Alteryx:

This software enables the attachment of analysis results from blending various data sources, providing richer and deeper insights for business intelligence.

4. Qlik:

Similar to Tableau, this software focuses on data visualization and can create the right data platform for experts in the field.

5. Domo:

Integrated with various industries, this application helps business intelligence professionals understand industry data, facilitating good analysis and recommendations.

6. Dundas BI:

Used to create dashboards and scorecards, this software aids business intelligence and simplifies data reporting.

7. Google Data Studio:

Similar to Google Analytics, this software displays data obtained from Google Analytics.

8. Birst:

This platform is used to analyze, explore, and display big data, receiving raw data and processing it into a data warehouse ready for analysis.

Business Intelligence Career Path

The career path in this profession is quite promising, with several positions available for those with experience.

Typically, a minimum of 3 years of experience is required for promotion.

The first potential position in the field of business intelligence is that of a business intelligence manager.

In this role, one would lead a business project relying on business data and be responsible for its success.

Another possible career progression is to become a master data services professional.

This role involves working extensively with data, leading to a deep understanding of data trends.
Lastly, one could pursue a career as an administrator.

This role involves interpreting data to understand customer needs, competitor activities, and economic conditions.


Q: What is the role of a business intelligence professional?

A: A business intelligence professional is responsible for analyzing business data and translating it into insights or recommendations for business development. They also shape the company's direction and business strategy.

Q: What are the essential skills and qualifications for a business intelligence professional?

A: Essential qualifications include pursuing a degree in information systems, computer science, data science, business administration, engineering, economics, or other relevant majors. Work experience, preferably through internships, and obtaining a certification in business intelligence are also recommended. Essential skills include data mining, data analysis, data visualization, programming languages, communication, and critical thinking.

Q: What are some essential business intelligence tools that need to be mastered?

A: Essential business intelligence tools include Tableau, Splunk, Alteryx, Qlik, Domo, Dundas BI, Google Data Studio, and Birst. These tools facilitate data visualization, data analysis, blending various data sources, creating dashboards, and simplifying data reporting.

Q: What are the potential career paths in the field of business intelligence?

A: Potential career paths in business intelligence include becoming a business intelligence manager, a master data services professional, or an administrator. These roles involve leading business projects, working extensively with data, and interpreting data to understand customer needs, competitor activities, and economic conditions.

Q: Where can one find more information about career prospects in various fields and industries?

A: Glints offers numerous related articles on its blog, addressing different career prospects in various fields and industries. Additionally, the latest information about job vacancies available at Glints for specific positions can be found on their website.

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